Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Iron Craft #17 - UFOs

The challenge this week:
"We are over halfway through this year and that seems like a good time for a UFO challenge. For those of you who don’t know a UFO is an UnFinished Object. This is your two weeks to go back and finish something that has been sitting around your house half done. It can also be something that you’ve had the supplies sitting around for, but never got around to making." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Yeah... so I have a ton of unfinished projects kicking around. I also have tons of supplies waiting to be made into something that I haven't gotten around to yet.

To choose just one, that was the real challenge.

I finally went with the one that is taking up the most room and getting in my way all the time.

I started this quilt last summer.  I got this far:

A pretty decent start.

 But all the pieces were cut out and clogging up a basket that I like to use for other stuff. I was afraid to move it because all the squares were labelled with sticky notes only. And the unfinished quilt top was folded and in a huge pile of stuff taking up space and making clutter.  It needed to be finished.

So I finished it! And I cut it close... I just put the binding on yesterday. Phew!

Notice the pattern is totally cray cray.

I got it by plugging the Tawny Bee logo into the quilt pattern making machine on the Victoria and Albert Museum website. I don't even think they have this feature anymore. But it was super cool!

There's the head.

I plopped the kids down on it so that you can get an idea about size.

  The back and binding was made with a thrifted yellow queen sized sheet.

It turned out lovely even though I did use all the subtle colours they wanted in the pattern. I made it my own by using some of the fabrics that were special to me.

And of course if you didn't already know by the giant bee on the quilt, it was handmade by Tawny Bee. I ironed the sticker on there anyway.


I'm not quite sure what we will be using this quilt for, but the cat had some ideas:

To view all the the Iron Craft UFOs check out the Flickr group.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Chandelier Redo - With Burlap!

I feel kind of odd calling out livingroom/diningroom lighting a "chandelier". Sure it hangs from the ceiling, but I always think much bigger when I think about chandeliers. You know, hanging crystals and gold or silver opulence.

Oh well.... before this past week, we had a real problem with our lighting in the livingroom/diningroom area. It was really pretty, but not very useful. The room was too red. So red that we could barely see our food in the winter months when it gets dark during dinner.

Time for a redo.

This is what I ended up with:

I like it! I like it a lot!

To show you what we started with for comparison:

I describe our interior decorating style as a fusion project called "Asian Cottage". It basically means that we have a lot of patchwork looking and vintage stuff combined with Asian influences.  So the red lantern was perfect for this look. Only as you can see, it shone red and against our red wall, it was REALLY red.

Not very practical.

So I took a burlap rice bag, some vintage ivory lace and a lampshade that I thrifted for $2.99 and went to work.

Took the fabric off.

Measured and glued down the burlap.

Then glued the lace.

No sewing. And it only took about 20 minutes. 

 Much brighter. And since the rice bag is Asian and the lace is vintage we're still well within our "Asian Cottage" theme.  Yay!

I took a ton of time trying to get the lampshade to sit straight with this set up. Unfortunately, it's a little crooked due to a wayward pull string inside the lighting apparatus. I'm going to have to figure something out to straighten it a bit.

The main thing to note though is that I finally jumped on the burlap bandwagon. I know I know... burlap has been the fabric on trend these past few years. There are about 6 billion crafty tutorials using burlap out there (Just Google burlap DIY and see - crayzeee!) Something trendy in our house? That's new.

Anyway, did I mention that we have another red lantern hanging opposite this new chandelier? Not to worry, once I find another useable lamp shade I'll be fixing that one up as well. I'm hoping to find a larger shade this time. That way I can use it where this one is because it sits directly over where Terry sits at the diningroom table. It almost looks like an interrogation light (or as Terry likes to say "a halo") is shining over him with this current smaller one. Maybe because we're so used to eating in red light, this one seems a bit distracting now. *sigh*

It is certainly an improvement anyway!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Making of a Minion Part 2 - Stuart

I'd like to introduce you to another minion that I have made.

Everyone meet Stuart.

He's a little bit cheeky.  Just like the classic Despicable Me minions.

The toughest part about making these minions is getting the face correct. I wanted Stuart to have an eyelid for his one eye and a bit of a impish grin.

Nailed it!

You remember Dave that I made for Logan? Stuart is for Laney. They each needed their own minion. Hence the "L" on the pocket instead of the "G" for Gru.

Lane told me as I was completing the head, "Stuart has sticky-uppy hair mom, can you make that?" Apparently I can! Pipe cleaners to the rescue once more. Now Stuart's three hairs can be styled whichever way Laney wants.

Both kids love their minions.

Thank goodness because they weren't easy to make and I'd be kinda disappointed if they got left in a room somewhere and forgotten.

I needn't have worried. Both kids cart those minions around with them wherever they go. They include Dave and Stuart in almost every game they play. And when they're playing outside, they set up the minions in the window to watch them play.

A new game we have in the house is to snap photos of the minions doing silly stuff.

Here they are being sneaky. They have Laney's blanket and they're not afraid to hold it for ransom.

Here they are in their DIY cars (that change into airplanes if needed) that the kids have made for them.

I didn't get a photo this morning when we were about to leave to meet Terry for lunch downtown. The kids had set Dave and Stuart on a chair at the kitchen table with plastic french fries and a bottle of mini M&Ms in front of them. They needed lunch too. hehehehe Precious!

I think my minion making days have come to an end for now. They are fussy and difficult.I might pull out some of my minion making skills later in the year to make a few Christmas presents. Or when the Minions movie comes out next year for whichever kids in my life need one, but for now I'm taking a rest.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Iron Craft #16: The Way Back Machine

This week's challenge:

"Let’s take our inspiration from the past for this challenge. Make something using something vintage/retro or make something inspired by something vintage/retro." (Courtesy of Just Crafty Enough)

Oh my! You'd think this challenge was tailor made for me. I make stuff out of vintage ALL THE TIME. I mean... even the last challenge I was busy making pajamas out of vintage sheets. It seems that almost every project I make has some sort of retro or vintage element to it.

So... why didn't I sink my teeth into this project and come up with something incredible?

I have one word for you:


I've been busy making minions.  Remember Dave - the minion I made the week before holidays? Well, Dave needed a friend. Or more to the point - Lane needed a minion because her brother had one. So I have been busy making Stuart the minion. (More on Stuart in a later post).

I also made a birthday present for the little girl down the block which took up a lot of time and patience - and stuffing! Which I ran out of last weekend. (More on the stuffed purple bear in a later post as well).

And I'm also rebuilding our crumbling front step. Playing with cement hasn't put me in a very creative mood. Grrr... (And... more on this in a later post as well).

I thought I was going to have to tap out of this one. The first Iron Craft project that I wasn't going to complete. :( But then I realized that even though I didn't realize I was creating something perfect for the challenge, I totally was!


In order to relax from thinking about, worrying about, and pretty much obsessing over the front step project, I sat down in front of the TV with my sketch book to just doodle a bit. I originally was going to plan out the process for rebuilding the front step, but didn't get into it. Instead I saw that the kids had left their huge bucket of crayons right in front of me. I couldn't resist!

I drew Raggedy Ann and Andy.

I drew Jem and the Holograms.

And I drew Holly Hobbie.

All very retro inspired from things I loved in my childhood. And perfect for this project (even though I didn't realize it until this morning when I was going to write my tap out post).

I think I might frame these and put them up somewhere - most likely in my work studio/laundryroom because I'm not so sure my husband appreciates them as much as I do. Maybe if I added Thundercats, HeMan and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the mix he'll be more receptive?

Anyway, it was a close one! Phew! Just squeaked by this week. Hopefully I'll do better next challenge.

To few all of the vintage and retro creations from the Iron Crafters, please check out the Flickr Group.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Our Holiday at Setting Lake - Part 2 - The Beach

What's a summer holiday without a trip to the beach.

The weather barely cooperated with us - but we did get in an evening swim the first day at the cottage. We took the boat out to a secluded little beach that can only be reached by boat. And had a fun swim.

I assume like with the last post that you will demand photo proof.

Happy to oblige...

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Our Holiday at Setting Lake - Part 1 - Fishing

Nananananana fishing!
Nananananana fishing!
fishing! fishing! fishing!.... Batman!


So my kids are master anglers.

Oh ... you didn't know?

And you want proof?

Well... I thought we were friends and that you'd take my word for it...

But if you insist:

Logan took the "praying to the heavens for a fish" approach.

Laney paid careful attention to the fishing instructions...

And then became fiercely SER-EEEEEEEE-US!. Look at that face! I'm surprised the fish didn't just recognize those vibes and just jump on the line.

She eventually eased up and took on an old hand at this kind of attitude.

Logan just became goofy.

Both kids were so awesome on the boat for hours at a time. They didn't complain and were both interested in the fishing and conversation. Not a peep about getting off the boat. We brought chips and licorice, so of course there were complaints about being hungry in order to get a parent or two to break into the snacks hehehe

I'm make no claims to being a master angler this time around. Apparently these northern fish are not the ones I'm used to who just go for the bait with full force. Nope, these fish are nibblers. So ... yeah... I gave them a free lunch ... like ... 5 times.  Oooops! Oh well... Next time they are in trouble!

Grandpa caught the first edible fish of the trip. Terry and I both caught something called a Jack(?) which isn't all that edible.

Grandma caught the biggest fish of the day!

And then grandpa caught 4 more fish. So we had a wonderful fish dinner when we got back to the cottage.

Team LT was shut out. But we all had fun anyway!

Laney even had to school daddy as to the proper fishing technique. hehehe


And if anyone asks: Yes my kids are master anglers! This catfish isn't stuffed! Nope! They hauled ole General Sherman right out of the lake. Honest! :D

Monday, 5 August 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Laney!

Lane turned 4 yesterday.

Happy birthday to my little Princess with Attitude! I love you Lane! You are my sweet little chatterbox - a little bossy at times but fiercely independent and smart as a whip. You sing almost everything that you have to say and I often catch you singing to yourself. You are so happy and smiling with an imagination that knows no bounds. I can't wait to watch you grow up into the fabulous young lady that you are and will always be.

Here are some photos from Lane's Birthday BBQ. As you can see, it rained all day and we had to move the party indoors.

We still had a great time!